Smoky Chickpea Tacos
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Totally delish! Smoked chickpea tacos with avocado and homemade pickled onions for Taco Tuesday or any day, loaded with vegetables, spice and protein-filled chickpeas.
Smoky chickpeas tacos packed with vegetables and spice — they’re quick, full of nourishing flavor and so tasty!
The smashed chickpeas in these soft tacos get their robust flavor from smoked paprika — or pimenton — a type of ground pepper essential to Spanish cooking.
What is smoked paprika?
Smoked paprika, or pimenton, is similar to Hungarian-style paprika.
Instead of air-dried red peppers, pimenton is made with ground peppers that have been smoked over a wood fire.
You can taste the distinctive earthy flavor of pimenton in many traditional foods like chorizo and paella.
I love to cook with smoked paprika, and make my own spice blends to season barbecued meat and in dishes like this Chorizo-Spiced Chicken Chili.
As a vegetarian main dish, these meatless tacos are totally satisfying.
I think the smoky seasoning on the chickpeas makes a great stand-in for grilled meat, and besides being delicious, chickpeas are full of excellent plant protein.
The pickled red onions in this recipe really add a spark of flavor, and you can make them a day or two ahead.
You’ll end up with more than you need for these tacos, but trust me, you’ll find yourself sneaking some on just about everything!
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Smoky Chickpea Tacos with Avocado and Pickled Onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained
- 6 corn tortillas
- Lettuce leaves or baby greens
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- 4 ounces (115 g) crumbled feta or goat cheese
- ½ English or Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1-2 limes, sliced into quarters
Make the pickled onion
- Dissolve the salt and sugar with the vinegar in a bowl or large Mason jar. Add the onion and toss around to coat. Let stand 15 minutes to soften.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the jalapeno, garlic and a pinch of salt a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Stir in the paprika and stir 30 seconds, then add the chickpeas and ¼ cup water. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mash the chickpeas coarsely with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Taste the chickpeas and season with more salt if needed.
- Heat the tortillas directly over a medium gas flame on the stovetop until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side (use a pair of tongs). Stack on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm. If you don’t have a gas stove, heat the tortillas one by one in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Make each taco with some of the the chickpeas, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, onion, cheese and cucumber. Squeeze lime juice over each taco and serve.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- The chickpea filling makes enough for about 6 soft tacos. If you’re feeding a crowd, double the recipe.
- Omit the cheese to make vegan tacos.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
Woooowaaa! Your photos are amazing! Just had to tell you. I just found your blog and bookmarking it. Can’t wait to try your food ideas. You are inspiring!
Chickpeas and avocado and I’m in heaven. I can roll it and eat it straight away.
Marta, you got it! I can see this going out the door for breakfast, too.
Tacos tacos tacos! 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever had chickpeas in a taco–sounds super intriguing.
Thanks Eileen. Creative tacos are sold on food trucks these days, why not at home? I like to keep it simple and chickpeas work!
I love chickpeas, this is my idea of a perfect taco!
Hi Laura – I love chickpeas in all forms, too.
I had initially planned to attend the IACP and then had to cancel the plan. Have fun in sunny CA, it beautiful out here 🙂 And I love a simple easy filling taco any day!
Hello Kankana, It is beautiful for sure! Not every day was sunny, but when it was it was glorious. Perfect weather for me.
What a great idea! These sound wonderful. I love chickpeas. And you photos, as always, are truly glorious.
Many thanks, Adri!